A few weeks ago I had a couple of avocados on my counter that were crying out to be used, so I started thinking about how to use them. I improvised with inspiration from this salad and the lemon-Feta vinaigrette from this salad, and the resulting combination of flavors in this Cucumber, Avocado, and Garbanzo Salad with Feta, Lemon, and Mint was really a wow for me. The first time I made the salad I didn't take photos, so the next time my nephew Jake came to cook we made the salad again, and this time we marinated the garbanzo beans in the dressing for a couple of hours before we tossed the salad together, which probably doubled the wow factor! Jake loved the salad as much as I did; in fact it was his favorite dish in a long day of trying out new recipes. If you're lucky enough to have some cucumbers from the garden, this salad will be even better; hope you enjoy!
The garbanzos here make this something I'd eat for a main dish lunch or light dinner, and I think this would be a perfect Meatless Monday meal when it's too hot to cook. (To see more meatless recipes, you can use the label Meatless Monday or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board. I also share Meatless Monday ideas from other blogs each week for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.com.)
Drain one can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) into a colander and rinse well with cold water. Pick off the loose skins of you're fussy about that like I am!
Whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek seasoning, black pepper, and olive oil to make the dressing; then stir in the finely crumbled Feta.
Pat the garbanzos dry if they still seem wet; then place in a bowl, add the dressing, and stir to coat the beans with the dressing. Let marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge if you have time.
When you're ready to assemble the salad, crumble 2-3 oz. of Feta cheese. Whenever they have it at Costco, I always use My Favorite Feta Cheese.
A reader named Debra recommended these amazing Herb Scissors, and I am loving them. They made it easy to cut strips of mint right from the stems. (Thanks Debra!)
Then GENTLY stir in the diced cucumber, feta, and mint, only mixing until ingredients are combined. Serve right away or chill for an hour or two.
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn, inspired by this salad and the lemon-Feta vinaigrette from this salad.)
1 can (15.5 oz.) garbanzo beans
1 large European cucumber or 2 medium cucumbers
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or less if you're not a big fan of mint; you could substitute another herb like cilantro, basil, or parsley if you don't like mint at all.)
2-3 oz. crumbled Feta (about 1/2 cup, I used My Favorite Feta Cheese)
2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. Greek Seasoning (probably optional, but it does add flavor)
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T finely crumbled Feta
Drain the garbanzos into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears), and let the beans drain while you make the dressing.
Whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Greek Seasoning (if using), fresh-ground pepper, and olive oil, then stir in the finely crumbled Feta. Pat the beans dry with a paper towel if they seem wet; then put them in a bowl with a snap-on lid, add the dressing, stir to coat all the beans with dressing, and marinate in the fridge with the bowl covered for an hour or two. (You can marinate less time if you're in a hurry.)
When you're ready to assemble the salad, cut off both ends of the cucumber, peel off thin strips of the peel, and slice lengthwise in fourths and then into bite-sized pieces. Crumble the Feta cheese. Wash the mint if needed and chop or snip into thin strips.
Peel and dice the avocados and immediately stir avocado into the beans/dressing, stirring gently to coat the avocado with dressing. Add the cucumber, mint, and feta and stir GENTLY to combine, just until the ingredients are barely mixed. Serve right away or chill for an hour or two.
This was best freshly made, but Jake and I both got some of the leftovers and I happily gobbled it up after it had been in the fridge overnight.
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients that are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but both dried beans and avocados are limited foods for Phase One, so use portion control if you're actively trying to lose weight.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Amazing Salads with Cucumbers:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Joanne Weir's Cucumber and Feta Salad ~ David Lebovitz
25 Favorite Cucumbers Salads to Help Keep You Cool ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Cucumber Salad with Roasted Lemon, Mint, and Basil Dressing ~ The Perfect Pantry
Al's Famous Hungarian Cucumber Salad ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad ~ The Kitchn
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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